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Building a Discipling Culture

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  1,033 ratings  ·  95 reviews
There is a discipleship crisis in the Western church. Many Christians may come to a worship service, join a small group or even tithe, but few have the kind of transformed lives we read about in Scripture. If we made disciples like Jesus made them, we wouldn't have a problem finding leaders or seeing new people come to faith. Building a Discipling Culture is the product of ...more
Paperback, 2nd Edition, 208 pages
Published September 10th 2014 by Zondervan (first published January 1st 2009)
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Eric Moote
Dec 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: christian
Overall: when you start a book book by stating that God is only concerned with how many disciples you make, "it's the only number he's concerned with," you tip your hand for the rest of the book.

The book is clearly written for pastors, so I am not the target audience. Other than that, the one sentence paragraphs and grammatical errors distracted me from the main ideas and geometric concepts of the book. I think some of the principles may translate to real life, but there are so many other nuanc
Shawn Woo
Dec 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Mike Breen and Steve Cockram’s passion to see discipleship come to the forefront of church ministry is evident from the very beginning of Building a Discipling Culture. They allege that many churches have their priorities reversed, focusing on building churches while neglecting to make disciples. They propose an alternative model that Jesus Himself espoused, claiming that “If you make disciples, you always get the church. But if you make a church, you rarely get disciples” (Kindle Location 100). ...more
Aug 03, 2013 rated it did not like it
Both 3dm and the Order of Mission think that in order to build a discipling culture, you must first have a discipling language. They believe that the language used creates the culture. The language used by the Mike Breen, the Order of Mission and 3dm is completely different than that used to describe discipleship in the Bible.

This book teaches that in order to be "radical" and make disciples you need to learn something "deeper" and "more effective" than the language that Jesus and his disciples
Carlisle Davidhizar
This is how I want church to be.
Sep 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
This book attempts to outline a method for creating disciples within church communities and falls into some of the same traps I've seen in many other books with similar intentions. First, the language of the book not fails to provide enough room, for us to believe the writers don't think this is God's gift to discipleship. I prefer, when reading books of this type, to see research backing up epistemic offerings, failures discussed along with successes, and the occasional mention of, "This isn't ...more
Dec 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: faith
I think that if you read the first two chapters of this book, you’ve pretty much got the picture. Premise: There’s a lack of depth/growth/love in the Christian community. Why? Because people aren’t being discipled to truly know Christ and learn to be like Him. Breen asserts that we’re focusing so much on the knowledge/information facet (sermons, Bible studies, etc.) that we’re missing out on the relationship part. Jesus discipled his followers by being in relationship with them, sharing his life ...more
Nov 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: pastoral
I liked some aspects of this book, and was very skeptical about some others. I like that the purpose for churches is to develop a culture where formal discipleship is a high priority, and then arguing that this needs to happen through a shared language and through communities focused on mission ("Huddles" in their terminology). The basic idea seems to be that when you form a group you apprentice people using a common language that is geared toward action. So far, so good.
The things I didn't lik
Stephen Lake
Oct 10, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 24, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I liked some things Breen said, but it’d help if he cited examples from the early church and church history that supported his approach to discipleship. Otherwise, it somewhat comes across as everyone before him has (and is) doing it wrong, even though he admits, "I'm not saying this is the only way to disciple people or even the best way,” (9).

Joe McFadden
Apr 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recently, I read through 3DM’s guide on “Building a Discipling Culture” by Mike Breen for the 2nd time. There is a lot of things I enjoy about this guide in building an effective discipleship plan and culture. Here are some notes, quotes and thoughts from the book. Building a Discipling Culture

Understanding Discipleship

Types of cultures we create:

High Challenge / Low Invitation. Stressful quadrant. Discouraged culture.
Low Challenge / Low Invitation. Boring quadrant. Apathetic culture.
Low Challe
Rachel Blom
Dec 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Every now and then you read a book that changes your life. It doesn’t happen often, but it happened to me this weekend as I read ‘Building a Discipling Culture’. This book answered questions I’ve had for some time about discipleship, evangelism and how the church should function. Aside from giving me answers, it also challenged me in a huge way.

The first part of the book offers a fresh and biblical view on discipleship. This part was incredibly challenging, because author Mike Breen states that
Oct 18, 2016 rated it liked it
This is a helpful little book on discipleship and gives a good base to work from when developing people as disciples of Christ who make disciples. I believe it is intended to be used in conjunction with a meeting, or huddle, with a few people as discipleship.

While there are helpful guidelines and diagrams, I also feel that there are many principles in this book that were not developed completely enough. Perhaps this is intentional as too much guidance or specific rules can hamper the uniqueness
Quentin Mullinix
Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent biblical and practical book to help a person enter into a life of discipleship. If you understand and believe that Jesus calls us to make disciples (as opposed to planting churches) and are ready to do the work and ready to trust God through this process then this is the book for you.

I have been looking for this book my whole life. It is a testimony to the fact that many churches do not have an established Discipleship system/lifestyle that actively teaches others how to be
Sep 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Mike Breen brings to light the utmost importance of discipling believers in the faith. All too often we wonder why so many Christians are struggling with their faithwalk, yet rarely are we (yes, all of us) taking the time to disciple a new Christian. Most often, we tend to rely on Sunday School to be our discipleship program, but Sunday School isn't designed for that. Breen brings to light a simply, upfront discipleship method. The fact that he uses charts, graphs and object lessons to get his m ...more
Bethany Joy
Jul 27, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Terrible editing. Terrible organization. Liked the idea of a "Kairos moment". Most of the rest is standard Evangelical jargon sloppily packaged. None the less my group of friends and I have had some great discussions of how it triggers us, and occasionally found nuggets of wisdom in there. So 1.5 stars or interesting conversations but I'm rounding down for the absolutely terrible editing.
Claire Cox-woodlief
Aug 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is an excellent guide to be read alongside the experience of participating in and later, leading huddles! I am excited to have the opportunity to begin a process of learning more about this way of discipling people more like Jesus did!
Bradley Milks
Nov 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The 3rd edition of this book is fantastic! I’ve read it through twice. This is a practical guide in how to build a Discipling culture. I am already building some of the principles into the ministries I oversee.
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED the way Breen explained the significance of discipleship. The shape model was very resourceful as I was thinking about the practicality of his principles.
May 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Extremely helpful book for doing exactly what it sets out to do- develop a common vocabulary for communicating the principles of disciple making.
Andy Hickman
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it

An assortment of helpful leadership tools for developing leaders.

Prominent examples include:
• Invitation-Challenge quadrants
• Kairos circle
• The Leadership-Discipleship square.

* The Leadership-Discipleship Square: Here is a helpful model on how to pass on your skills for doing your ministry task to the next person –
1. Step 1: “I do. You watch.”
2. Step 2: “I do. You help.”
3. Step 3: “I help. You do.”
4. Step 4: “You do. I celebrate.”
It takes at least 4
Kristen Wood
Jun 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Although Mike Breen paints a realistic picture of the state of the Western church in regards to the implementation of effective discipleship, I’m hesitant to throw all of my weight behind his theories. I found myself agreeing with the core of his philosophies, but often disagreeing with how he encourages them to be executed. The Word of God is our primary source for knowing and obeying Jesus. I was surprised that Breen doesn’t spend more time emphasizing the importance of helping people learn ho ...more
Richard Fitzgerald
Building a Discipling Culture lays out a model of discipleship with suggestions for implementing that model in the local church. Breen has a clear conception of the elements of discipleship and the journey that leads to growth as a follower of Jesus. His understanding that a balance of affirmation and challenge is necessary for sustained growth is useful. Further, his model helpfully includes appropriate instruction for implementing accountable discipleship groups. There are weaknesses in the mo ...more
Jeff Bjorgan
May 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Discipleship is certainly a buzzword in church circles, as the Christian community has come to the realization that "convert focused" Gospel does not often lead to making life long disciples of Jesus. However, as churches embark on improving their discipleship programs, the tendency is still to adopt a classroom style approach to spiritual formation: read more, hear more, and then you will be a learner. Breen offers a different take on discipleship, one that engages not only the classroom style ...more
Mike Jorgensen
Nov 20, 2017 rated it did not like it
I started this book with a real optimism, slowly but surely it lost my interest. I think the bulk of Bible passages used in this book were out of context. It felt like a system designed by a middle-class American engineer from the boomer generation. This book is committed to building a discipling culture, although I don't think he ever defines what a disciple or what discipleship is. I can't even evaluate if he's hitting his own target because he never outlines it.

Weird formulas, arbitrary defin
Sep 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: christian
This was very interesting, and as I'm part of a church that is deep in 3dm styles I appreciate knowing where they're coming from. However it's not helped the feeling I have that the shapes are too rigid / forced, albeit that they do help convey some great truths.
Damon Hawkins
Sep 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book! Great insight into how a discipling culture can be built within a community context. The principles taught are explained in memorable images. There is also a lot of practical examples that really help a reader understand the concepts.
Justin Low
Dec 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good framework and ideas on how to disciple

This is a good framework on explaining Christian Basics (pragmatics, not so much theology) and gives a bunch of ideas on how to disciple
This unfortunately (but perhaps necessarily) demands commitment to the regime and adoption of the suite of books and ideas.
Dana B. Beland
This book is a mixed bag. Some really good an innovative ideas on discipleship and creating a culture of discipleship. However, I do agree on all the premises the author proposes. It is definitely worth the read but take the meat and leave the bones.
Nov 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
Got some good ideas, but the strategy seemed to complicated to me. Also don’t like Christian books that bag out other churches.
Dan Gill
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Perhaps my favorite book on faith and doing Church
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November is the time for aspiring writers to get serious about writing that book! It's National Novel Writing Month, the annual event designed to...
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“If you make disciples, you always get the church. But if you make a church, you rarely get disciples.” 7 likes
“We don’t want people to understand forgiveness or prayer or mission or justice only intellectually. We want people who can forgive, who can hear and respond to God, who actually know Him. We want people who have hearts that break for our world and the people in it and do something about it. We want the kind of people in our communities who resemble the people we see in Scripture.” 4 likes
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